A cryptocurrency exchange in Canada has revealed they can’t repay most of their clients’ $190 million in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, and fiat currency holdings, and no, it wasn’t because of a 51 attack. The reason for the lost money this time is perhaps even stranger: only one person knew the company’s password, and he died.
The website for crypto exchange QuadrigaCX recently went down, and the company filed for creditor protection, citing an inability to access the “cold wallet” (a physical device not connected to the internet) where clients’ cryptocurrency was encrypted. Most of the exchange’s Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, and fiat money were stored in one device, and only the co-founder and CEO of QuadrigaCX, Gerald Cotten, had the password.
Cotten reportedly died in December at the age of 30. The company announced his death more than a month later, posting on Facebook that Cotten died due to “complications with Crohn’s disease on December 9, 2018 while travelling in India, where he was opening an orphanage to provide a home and safe refuge for children in need.”